Friday, January 1, 2010

I'm here!

Well I’ve officially arrived in Malawi. The trip from England went well but it was a bit stressful. I got to the airport and discovered that despite my online confirmation of South African Airways baggage policy, I can only check one bag weighing and not two as I’d been led to believe from the website (something about how I stayed longer than 48 hrs in the UK). Anyway, I was then told that my hiking backpack was too large to carry on leaving me with Sophie’s Choice: abandon my duffel with everything I own or leave my new, very expensive hiking backpack that I’ll need to travel around after my PPB work. Obviously this dichotomous choice of horrors was not going to turn out well either way so I did what I do best: I looked panic-stricken and I cried. The woman took pity on me and let my duffle slide even though it was half a kilo overweight and told me that if I got through security with my backpack then that was good enough for her. Fun fact: they take that carry-on size/weight restriction very seriously in the UK. I somehow wiggled through the cracks but I noticed that no one had an obnoxiously large rolling bag and the overhead compartments were barren compared to domestic flights in the US. After I smuggled my huge backpack onto the plane I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Things got even better when I snagged an exit row. My joy was somewhat tempered when I realized that I’d have to prop up my TV with my foot but hey, I was going to Malawi and so was all of my luggage so I wasn’t complaining.

Now I’m here in Blantyre, Malawi’s financial center. The project rents three little house/apartments in a guarded compound. It’s quite comfortable: I have a bed with sheets and there’s hot water and a woman who cooks and does laundry. I am most excited about the people I’m going to be living and working with: Indi is a doc with fellowships in Peds, ID and EM, Lacey is a med student and Gus is her husband. They have each been incredibly welcoming and fun. I think we’re going to get along very well. I’ve also had my first day in the field and we’re going out for New Years but I’ve got to cede the computer so I’ll report more later. Suffice it to say I think I’ll get my baby fix here.


  1. So glad you've arrived safely! You are missed here but I look forward to more updates about Malawi. Also, you know you honed those crying skills on the JV field hockey bench with me and Melissa. Come on Hayls, credit where credit is due.

  2. i feel like this is a story not real. like indi and Gus and Lacey are just character names that I have to keep track of. why do you think?